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2 000 patients died from severe adverse events at Gauteng Hospitals last year

Nearly 2,000 patients died in Gauteng public hospitals last year from “severe adverse events” (SAEs), 1,105 of them being at Pretoria’s Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital, reports TimesLIVE.

SAEs lead to death through unintended harm rather than the condition or disease that brought the patient to hospital in the first place.

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions in the Gauteng legislature from DA shadow health MPL Jack Bloom on 26 July, who said it was “horrifying” there had been so many deaths and injuries to patients.

These deaths were among 6,910 SAEs recorded last year. Of these nearly 7,000 events, there have only been 28 disciplinary cases, said Bloom. Mokgethi said only 13 of these resulted in litigation and there were just 31 referrals for mediation.

“How can there be so few disciplinary cases in this matter?” asked Bloom. He said Kalafong hospital compares in size to Helen Joseph and Thembisa hospitals, which had 587 and 626 SAEs respectively.

These numbers are already “unacceptably” high, but still much lower than those in Kalafong.

The four large academic hospitals had the following SAEs:
Chris Hani Baragwanath – 854;
Dr George Mukhari – 453;
Steve Biko – 330; and
Charlotte Maxeke – 212 SAEs.

Other hospitals with high SAEs in relation to patient numbers include:
Leratong – 395;
Weskoppies – 367;
Pholosong – 239;
Sebokeng – 206;
Mamelodi – 194;
Edenvale – 157;
Bertha Gxowa – 134;
Jubilee – 122; and
Bheki Mlangeni – 118.

Bloom said it was the many deaths and injuries were all “because of avoidable negligence”.
“This is why medical negligence claims continue to rocket, with courts awarding massive payouts. Hospitals should be only about healing, rather than places where patients are harmed.”

He said the Gauteng Health Department needed to drastically improve its hospital management “and ensure there are adequate and well-trained staff with proper equipment”.


TimesLIVE article – Negligence kills: 1,954 people died from 'adverse events' at Gauteng public hospitals in 2021 (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Serious adverse event stats keep climbing in Gauteng government hospitals


AG warns urgent intervention needed to prevent provincial health collapse


DA demands commission of inquiry into state of public health


Lack of funds has health departments struggling to fill posts




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